Essay Example on Health Information Technology Systems Life Cycle

Published: 2019-11-06
Essay Example on Health Information Technology Systems Life Cycle
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Health and Social Care Information technologies
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1235 words
11 min read

The Broad Category of Health Information Technology

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The broad category of healthcare technology selected is the Electronic Health Records (EHR) database or the Electronic Medical Records (EMR). EHR database refers to the archive of electronically stored health information for patients. These electronic health records can be shared across a variety of healthcare settings and are accessible by different medical personnel. In the EHR, a wide range of data can be retrieved including the patient demographics, their medical history, status of immunizations, laboratory test results, among other pieces of crucial information (Savel & Foldy, 2012). The databases contain accurate state of the patients and can, therefore, be used in the making of decision with regard to the medical history of the patient and the medicines that they will be prescribed. As opposed to paper records, which are not easy to retrieve, the EMR databases provide up-to-date information, which is critical for the patient and the medical personnel.

Four Phases of HIT System Lifecycle and the Activities That Would Be Performed In Each Stage

The system lifecycle is a foundational concept in informatics literacy that is applicable to a wide variety of concepts and not specific to a particular device. McCartney (2010) says that the role of these foundational concepts in HIT is to enable nurses and medical practitioners to participate and be in the forefront in the use of technology in the delivery of safe and effective healthcare. The purpose of the systematic life cycle is to research and categorically organize the successes and failures of the implementation process. The HIT systems life cycle include:

Needs Assessment and Analysis

This is the first phase that starts with the identification of information management system needs. This is through the analysis of the work processes and the alignment of the goal of technology with the vision, mission, and strategies of an organization. The mobilization of executive commitment and the start of the evaluation plan from the outcome for the patients are also some of the activities in this phase (Savel & Foldy, 2012).

Figure 1: The HIT Systems Life Cycles and Activities for Each Phase (McCartney, 2010).

System Selection and Design

The tactical plan for the project is analyzed in this stage. This is through the activity of establishing the scope and budget for the project and teaming with the relevant stakeholders (McCartney, 2010). Indeed, the identification of not only the functional but also technical requirements as well as the selection of the product are some of the key activities that are mandatory for this second phase of the life cycle.


The implementation of the project commences with the development of a plan and timeline for the preparation of the trainers and supervisors. Additionally, the various materials and competencies, the classes of the end users, the training environment, and the technology support are some core parts of this phase. Moreover, the hardware and software installations of the system are done at this phase and the operations then commence.

Evaluation and Maintenance

The planned outcome of the system must be measured in this step instead of just celebrating the completion of the implementation. Specifically, in the view of Savel & Foldy (2012), the clinical benefits as well as the financial returns on the investment should be used to measure the outcomes. Any existing adverse consequences are identified in this phase as well as how it has enabled medical practitioners ensure the safety and efficient healthcare for the patients

The Key Elements to Be Included In A Needs Assessment and the Effects with Others Systems That May Already Be In Use at the Agency

A needs assessment requires the inclusion of the real information management needs. For instance, the management of the medical records for ensuring the safe, quick and effective treatment of the patients would be one of real needs. Additionally, according to Savel & Foldy (2012), the work processes of the agency in the present should be included in the needs assessment as well as the mission, goals, and objectives of the agency. The other systems may also change to align themselves with the new changes and equally contribute to successful systems cycle.

Key Members of the Steering Committee and Why They Are Important

This committee would be composed of the all the healthcare information technology stakeholder groups. They would include the chair of the committee who would lead with an unbiased approach. A physician and a nurse would also be key members as they would the primary users of the EHR and would thus need to be involved in the selection and implementation of the components of EHR. Representatives from the clinical support services including the laboratory, radiology, and pharmacy will need to be part of the committee to understand the system and validate it (Nykanen et al., 2011). Representatives of the administration, quality improvement and IT should be members to provide advice and support. It would be critical to have a project manager who would coordinate the whole system.

A Strategy for the Selection of a Product

The selection of the product would commence with the search for products through activities such as conferences and demonstrations. Additionally, the products would be searched through the relevant websites, scholarly articles, and other pieces of professional literature as well as any form of networking (Savel & Foldy, 2012). The selection can then be done through the request for proposal (FRP) strategy. This will provide a copy of detailed information about the product and the vendor as well as its specifications and efficiencies.

General Components of the Information System to Be Evaluated

The information system would need to be evaluated based on the expected outcomes. For instance, the clinical benefits of the information system will be evaluated. Additionally, the return on investment such as the financial benefits accruing from the systems should also be the subject of evaluation. The ability of the information system to secure the data stored, backup the data, and optimize as well as upgrade the data should be evaluated (Campbell & McDowell, 2011). Indeed, the ability of the users to recover data from the systems should form part of the evaluation, as the information systems should be to help the users.

Potential Training Needs for My End Users

The end users of the information system should be trained on a variety of aspects about the system. One of those is how they can be able to store information in the database and how they can upgrade it without necessarily having to put the entry afresh. Additionally, the end users will need to be trained on how they can recover information stored in the system and how they can use the system to provide safer and efficient healthcare for the patients. More importantly, training would be necessary on how the technology can be used towards the achievement of the goals and visons of the organization.


Campbell, C. J., & McDowell, D. E. (2011). Computer literacy of nurses in a community hospital: where are we today?. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 42(8), 365-370.

McCartney, P. R. (2010). What is the HIT systems life cycle?. MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, 35(5), 301.

Nykanen, P., Brender, J., Talmon, J., de Keizer, N., Rigby, M., Beuscart-Zephir, M. C., & Ammenwerth, E. (2011). Guideline for good evaluation practice in health informatics (GEP-HI). International journal of medical informatics, 80(12), 815-827.

Savel, T. G., & Foldy, S. (2012). The role of public health informatics in enhancing public health surveillance. MMWR Surveill Summ, 61(Suppl), 20-4.

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